Today, we said “goodbye” to Instagram. While we’ve enjoyed (virtually) meeting great people in many countries, we struggled with a fundamental conflict that we cannot, personally, satisfactorily resolve: how to be part of social media without sacrificing the privacy of our personal information to the whims of a company that answers to one master – its shareholders.
Facebook, Inc. is a business (as are the other entities it’s assimilated, including Instagram), and its provision of this platform isn’t driven by altruism: despite the appearance that it’s free, there is a cost to using Instagram. That cost to users is allowing Facebook, Inc. to use users’ personal information for a number of purposes, including those that fall under “research”. That may sound relatively innocuous, but it’s not: for example, how would you feel about not having access to certain features that you know other users do? Without knowing why? On its face, it sounds discriminatory…and practically speaking, it’s just annoying.